(1) The department shall establish regional citizens' advisory committees as part of a public participation program. The regional citizens' advisory committees are intended to promote meaningful and effective public involvement in the department's remedial action program under chapter 70.105D
RCW. The committees will advise the department as to the concerns of citizens locally and regionally regarding the remedial actions within each committee's region, with emphasis on issues that affect the region as a whole, rather than site-specific concerns.
(2) Location. There shall be a regional citizens' advisory committee representing each geographic region of the state served by a regional office of the department.
(3) Membership. At any time, each committee shall have no fewer than five and no more than twelve members. The director shall, no later than July 1, 1990, appoint five members to each committee to represent citizens' interests in the region. These members shall serve three-year terms that may be renewed at the director's discretion. These members should represent citizen interests in the region.
(a) The director may appoint up to seven additional members to represent communities that may be affected by the remedial actions within each region. These members shall serve two-year terms that may be renewed at the director's discretion.
(b) At no time shall more than twenty-five percent of the membership of any committee consist of persons who are elected or appointed public officials or their representatives.
(c) The department shall advise the public as to whether any vacancies exist on the committees, and shall accept applications from interested citizens.
(d) The following persons shall not be eligible to serve on any committee:
(i) Persons whom the department has found are potentially liable persons under WAC 173-340-500
with regard to any facility that is currently the subject of department investigative, remedial or enforcement actions, not including compliance monitoring;
(ii) Agents or employees of such potentially liable persons as described in (d)(i) of this subsection; and
(iii) Agents or employees of the department.
(e) A member shall refrain from participating in a committee matter if that member for any reason cannot act fairly and in the public interest with regard to that matter.
(f) The director may dismiss a member for cause in accordance with the terms of the regional citizens' advisory committee charter.
(4) Meetings. The committees shall meet at least twice a year at the regional offices or elsewhere as agreed upon by a committee and the department. Appropriate department staff may attend these meetings. The department shall brief the committees on the program's major planned and ongoing activities for the year.
(a) The department and the committees may agree to additional meetings.
(b) Each committee will designate one of its members to serve as chair. The committee chairs shall meet every year with the program manager or his/her designee.
(c) All committee meetings shall be open to the public. The department shall inform the public of committee meetings.
(5) Resources allocated to the committees.
(a) The department shall determine, after consulting with the committees, the amount of staff time and other department resources that shall be available to the committees for each biennium.
(b) The department shall designate staff to work with the committees.
(c) Members shall be reimbursed for travel expenses (as provided for in chapter 43.03
RCW) for any meetings approved by the department.
(6) Responsibilities. The committees are directed to:
(a) Meet at least twice annually;
(b) Inform citizens within each region as to the existence of the committees and their availability as a resource;
(c) Review the department's biennial program priorities, and advise the department of citizen concerns regarding the program priorities;
(d) Advise the department of community concerns about the cleanup program's activities and develop proposals for addressing these concerns. Committees may use issues at specific sites as a foundation for understanding regional issues;
(e) Annually prepare a brief report to the department describing:
(i) Major citizen concerns that have been brought to the committee's attention during the past year;
(ii) Any committee proposals or recommendations to address these concerns;
(iii) The committee's plans for the coming year; and
(iv) Any other information or issues which the committee believes appropriate for inclusion.
(f) The committees are encouraged to work with the department and the public to develop additional committee goals or responsibilities.
[Statutory Authority: Chapter 70.105D RCW. 01-05-024 (Order 97-09A), § 173-340-610, filed 2/12/01, effective 8/15/01; 90-08-086, § 173-340-610, filed 4/3/90, effective 5/4/90.]